Prayer and Fasting to Repair the Damage of Dissent

Thomas J. Euteneuer
Human Life International Newsletter
Volume 03, Number 29
July 23, 2008
Reproduced with Permission
Human Life International

Too numerous are those voices - amplified by the modern means of propaganda - which are contrary to the voice of the Church. To tell the truth, the Church is not surprised to be made, like her divine Founder, a "sign of contradiction," yet she does not, because of this, cease to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Of such laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man. (Humanae vitae, 18)

Humanae vitae, the papal encyclical "on the transmission of life," stands as a solid bulwark against the constant degradation of marriage and family in our modern age. Like Jesus, this teaching is indeed a "sign of contradiction" and even a reproach to those who wish to give human selfishness unbridled permission to wreak havoc on these divine institutions. The dissenters infiltrating our own Church say that this encyclical is "indicative of church hierarchical dysfunction" (National Catholic Reporter) or that millions are "dying as a result of the ban [on contraception]" ("Catholics" for a Free Choice), but in the face of all that dissent, we must say, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." And for those who do, in fact, "know what they do," we offer prayer and fasting for their sins.

On Friday of this week, on the actual anniversary of the encyclical, HLI is calling for the many millions of faithful Catholics to offer some sacrifice and prayer for those who have given scandal about this most important teaching. There are public dissenters like the myriad false-Catholic politicians and other public figures like Sean Hannity who have profoundly distorted the perception of the Church's wisdom in the minds of millions of believers and non-believers alike. Academics teaching at some of this nation's so-called Catholic universities bear a deep-seated guilt for their leading astray the impressionable young people whose adult lives have become stamped with the seal of dissent. These are the very ones who were supposed to teach them the truth. Perhaps worst of all are those clergy who for many years have used the sacred space of the confessional to deceive the struggling consciences of the laity or who have maintained an irreverent silence about these issues from the pulpit while the wolves ravage their flocks before their eyes.

Indeed, the sins of the dissenters have affected us all because they have failed to rebuke the winds of error and the storms of immorality that have blown over our society since the sexual revolution of the sixties. The devastation has been enormous. "Father forgive them," is our prayer as we look to a future where Humanae vitae will be vindicated in all its wisdom.

This Friday is the 40th anniversary of this marvelous encyclical, and it deserves a special remembrance in our hearts and lives. Please join with us, spiritually, this Friday or the following week, in offering some prayer or tangible sacrifice in reparation for the many sins of the dissenters always keeping in mind that dissent never has the last word. The Truth always wins in the end!

One final challenge: In our task of forming the "generation of assent" to Humanae vitae, the greatest thing we do on the encyclical's anniversary is to actually read it! (Or read it again, as the case may be.) You will be amazed at its brevity, simplicity and beauty - it is a gift that keeps on giving, just like all the things of God. We have provided a printable version for you or you can read it on-line as you wish. Let us know what you think and your comments may make it into a future HLI publication - as a witness to the new generation of assent. Blessings to all!

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